Sarah Bruno Emotional Dexterity: Afro-Puerto Rican Resistencia in Bomba's Batey and the Digital Space

Sarah Bruno

Sarah Bruno

Emotional Dexterity: Afro-Puerto Rican Resistencia in Bomba's Batey and the Digital Space

4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. EST
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall
(C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse)
or online via Zoom

Registration required. In-person attendance is limited to current Duke faculty, students, and staff.

Please register to attend in-person here à

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Sarah Bruno's work centers on Blackness in Puerto Rico (and the States) and decolonial practices. She leans into music, dance, information technologies and emotions to animate her ideas of Puerto Ricans living in the hold of colonialism. This talk, based on ethnographic material in Puerto Rico and Chicago, centers bomba as the launchpad from which to map out a history of Black feeling amongst Afro-Puerto Rican women. With specific attention to embodied practices, Bruno theorizes how practices in bomba's dance circle, the batey, lend towards better understanding the recent social movements in Puerto Rico and the diaspora. More than that, by listening to and mirroring Puerto Rican history in relation to bomba, Bruno is (re)membering Black genealogies and geographies that colonialism has tried to silence and thinks through an articulation of resistencia or resistance.

Dr. Sarah Bruno is from the southside of Chicago and graduated with her Ph.D in in the Cultural Anthropology from University Wisconsin-Madison in May 2021. She also attended UW-Madison as a former member of the First Wave Hip-Hop and Urban Arts scholarship program. Her research and art lie at the intersections of performance, diaspora, and colonialism—she is invested in Puerto Rico, Blackness, femininity, and affect. Her dissertation, “Black Latinx Dexterity: Emotions in Bomba Puertorriqueña and Decolonizing Diasporic Archives” and forthcoming scholarly work is deeply invested in anthropologies of embodiment, performance and sound studies, and Black Latinx ways of knowing. Her pedagogy is one anchored in applied practice, multimodal ethnography, and digital humanist approaches. She was a Mellon ACLS dissertation fellow and is currently the ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at Duke University where she is the Race and Digital Technologies Postdoctoral Fellow housed at the Franklin Humanities Institute and in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. Her scholarly and artistic work has been featured in The LatiNEXT, Acentos Review, Anthropology News, Latinx Psych Today, and the Taller Electric Marronage blog. She has forthcoming work in Transforming Anthropology and Post45 digital journal.  She aims to continue to write and imagine with care about the never-ending process of enduring, feeling, and knowing in Puerto Rico and its diaspora.